HOL Final

HOL Final - 1. Has the Bill of Rights been utilized to...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1. Has the Bill of Rights been utilized to insure a proper balance between liberty and security, in the administration of criminal justice and the protection of civil liberties? Discuss the changing social context, significant controversies and their resolution. “Those who would sacrifice Liberty for Security deserve neither.” This quote by Benjamin Franklin sums up the difficult balancing act that the American government has had to play since the country’s founding. On one hand, the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment specifically enumerate the freedom of individuals to protest their country and secure against unreasonable breaches of right. On the other hand, the government must actively protect itself and the people from threats that would undermine those very liberties. While civil liberties are constantly in danger, rights of criminal justice have also been breached. The Supreme Court has repeatedly examined the states’ police powers, yet it has repeatedly seemed to err on the side of security. Much of the legislation and Court precedent derives from societal trends of fear. Communism, terrorism, and general aversions to certain evils have allowed the government to push greater measures of security even when the Constitution might say otherwise. Therefore, the American government has too often curbed civil liberties and fundamental rights in cases of criminal justice in the name of security. The government and Supreme Court have put limits on the First Amendment to protect the people, when truly such regulations hurt them. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 first forced America to struggle with this complex relationship. Federalist John Adams passed this law to prevent seditious attacks against the government that could weaken it in a time of war. The Alien and Sedition Acts made it illegal to “write, print, utter, or publish… any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States” although the First Amendment gives people “the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Anti- Federalists were furious that they were unable to voice their opinions. The Federalists asserted
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
that this legislation was for the best since it would bolster the government and protect the people as relations with France became even more belligerent. Over 120 years later, the Supreme Court faced another issue of restrictions on speech and upheld its constitutionality. In Schenck v. United States [249 U.S. 47 (1919)], the Supreme Court utilized the “clear and present danger” test to convict Charles Schenck, member of the Socialist Party of America, of raising insubordination throughout America by distributing revolutionary material during a time of war. Justice Holmes felt that Schenck was undermining the draft and efforts by soldiers in WWI. He
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course HIST 169 taught by Professor Berry during the Spring '10 term at UPenn.

Page1 / 19

HOL Final - 1. Has the Bill of Rights been utilized to...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online